Black Label Society

Metaldays - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Come Tuesday, second day of Metaldays, and Black Label Society was our first band of the day. Actually, it should have been Moonspell, but a certain Zakk Wylde felt it was more important that he’d be given an extended soundcheck, and thus had the Portuguese band kicked out of the schedule. What a guy.

Well, apart from getting off on the wrong foot, we were actually interested in what Wylde and his Black Label Society had to offer. After all, this is a band everyone knows about, and almost everyone I’ve heard talking about it, praises it to the skies. Personally, I haven’t really listened to the band, and thus didn’t have much of an opinion, but rather a curiosity to see what all the fuzz was about.
At first, I thought I could see what other people saw in them. I wasn’t completely agreeing with the style of music, but the band laid down some solid rock, and they were extraordinary posers (as in, people who stand in poses), which is something you should know I usually like. Wylde was fond of using the small podium he had next to his microphone stand, and already in the band’s first song, he was ripping up a solo with his guitar behind his neck.
A few things were done to shift the style, for instance Suicide Messiah saw one of the crew members come on and shout things through a megaphone, and a keyboard was brought out for Angel Of Mercy, which guitarist Dario Lorina played on. After that, it was time for the Dimebag Darrell tribute song In This River, in which Wylde took over the keyboard, and Darrell’s picture hung from the band’s Marshall rack.
In general though, it was bassist John DeServio that stole the show, as the only guy actually putting on a real performance.

In front of the stage, a large but not very packed crowd had gathered to see the metal superhero, and they were doing the usual crowd stuff, like shouting and headbanging, but nothing memorable as such – I guess the biggest moment there was, was when the crowd got to sing the final chorus repetition of the aforementioned Suicide Messiah.
One guy, a friend of ours wouldn’t you know, threw a small board game up on the stage as a gift, a trick he’s done with several different bands, and he managed to land it perfectly on Wylde’s little podium. Apparently though, the king of metal guitars wasn’t keen on receiving tokens of appreciations, and merely kicked it away without giving it a second thought. Tough luck, now he’ll never know that he has a whole card unto himself in the game…

The thing is, Wylde didn’t seem too keen on anything that had something to do with anything else than himself. There was at no point during the show any kind of recognition of the crowd or the place the band was playing – hell, the rest of the band didn’t even get a mention until quite late in the show, and at that time the comments were full of inside jokes which no one except the other members of the band got.
Apparently, wasn’t even very keen on sitting down and learning his own material, and had to have a crew guy bring in lyric sheets for every song they played. The one thing he did know, unless he improvised that is, was the guitar solo, but honestly, it was about four or five times longer than need be, and we lost interest about three notes in. Even the big encore finale, which was supposed to blow us all away, and had both Wylde and Lorina donning double neck guitars, just felt bloated and boring. A friend of ours said the word self-indulgent, and honestly, that just about sums up the entire concert. Nothing else needs to be said.
Oh wait, yeah, there is. You remember how Black Label Society kicked Moonspell off so that they could have a longer soundcheck? Yes, well, turns out Black Label Society managed to have the worst sounding concert of the entire festival. Time well spent guys, hats off to you.


The Beginning… At Last
Funeral Bell
Bleed For Me
Heart Of Darkness
Suicide Messiah
My Dying Time
Damn The Flood
Solo (Wylde)
Godspeed Hell Bound
Angel Of Mercy
In This River
The Blessed Hellride
Concrete Jungle

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